Call for CCTV cameras after robbers hold knife to florist’s stomach during Chadwell Heath shop raid

Brenda Woodards of Margarets florist which was robbed last Saturday. Brenda was held at knifepoint w

Brenda Woodards of Margarets florist which was robbed last Saturday. Brenda was held at knifepoint while robbers raided the till. - Credit: Archant

A florist had a knife held to her stomach during a daylight raid on her shop.

Three men burst into Margaret’s in High Road, Chadwell Heath on Saturday morning with one grabbing florist Brenda Woodards while the others snatched money from the till.

She said: “It’s just absolutely trashed me. I’ve got to carry on else I’ll have a nervous breakdown. I don’t want to even be in the shop.

“I’m trying to keep my business up and running and they stole the girls’ wages.”

Her husband, Renny Woodards, added: “To do that to her is disgusting. It’s made her sick. It’s terrible, really terrible.”

The shop hadn’t been open long before the trio ran in. As well as £80 from the till they made off with £350 and bank cards from Brenda’s handbag.

One of the three shoved the 62-year-old, who was on her own in the shop at the time, as the crooks fled out of the door.

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Badly shaken but uninjured, Brenda called the police and later phoned her bank who told her there had been payments made on her cards following the robbery.

Renny, 58, said: “People need to know this is going on. It’s knocked her back. She normally does everything up before Valentine’s Day, but she’s lost interest.

“We say, ‘Don’t give in to them’. It’s terrible what things are coming to now.”

Brenda – who lives with husband Renny in Rochford, Essex – works a 14 hour day, leaving home at 5.50am to open up six days a week.

But according to Renny the High Road is becoming a no-go area. The shop had already been broken into three times before Saturday’s raid.

Renny said the men had probably been watching the shop because they knew straightaway how to open the till.

The couple called for CCTV cameras to be put up in the High Road to cover the shops and deter criminals from targetting small businesses.

“It’s dangerous there, especially at night now,” Renny said. “If they can put up cameras at the junction with Chadwell Heath Lane, why can’t they put them up so they cover the shops as well?”

“Shopkeepers need some sort of protection,” added Brenda.

The three men were described as being small, of south Asian appearance, wearing woolly hats and in their 30s.

A Met spokesman confirmed police were called to a report of a robbery at the shop on Saturday morning. There have been no arrests.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.